Frustrated, spiraling Kraken meet struggling Ducks

League: NHL

Posted on: 26 Mar, 2024 at 01:12 AM

Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Kraken coach Dave Hakstol had seen enough.

After a listless 5-1 defeat to visiting Montreal on Sunday night in which the Kraken allowed four unanswered goals in the first period, Hakstol let loose.

"You play this game with passion. You play it with heart and you play it for the guy next to you," Hakstol said. "And we're not doing that right now. And that's nuts. That's more than disappointing. That's hard to be part of and that's something that we're going to change."

The Kraken (28-29-13, 69 points), who will play host to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, are mired in their second eight-game losing streak of the season (0-6-2), this one essentially knocking them out of the Western Conference's wild-card race.

Seattle has failed to score more than once in six of those games, including the past three.

"This game comes down to 20 guys battling hard, competing hard, working for one another and doing it from (the) start of a shift to the end of a shift and then the next group goes out," Hakstol said.

"If you want me to go through each (play), good and bad, I'll do it. But throw a blanket over it. That's what it comes down to. We've got to make a really hard choice in here."

Jordan Eberle scored the lone goal Sunday for Seattle. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer was mercifully pulled after allowing four goals on six shots in the opening 18 minutes.

"We've got 12 games to go and I think our mindset has got to be that we've got to finish strong," Eberle said. "That's just unacceptable. People pay good money to come and watch and we can't obviously get down early like that. We've got to find a way not to quit."

Even worse, the Kraken are 0-6-1 at home this month, which began with a playoff berth still in sight. Their game prior to Sunday at home was a 6-2 loss to Buffalo.

"It's got to come through us getting connected here and figuring out what we want to do," Hakstol said. "Because this stinks. We're walking out of this rink for the second time in two home games feeling this way. And that's unacceptable."

The Ducks (24-43-4, 52 points) haven't been much better, going 1-7-1 over their past nine games. They snapped a seven-game skid with a 4-0 victory against visiting Chicago last Thursday, only to lose 3-2 in overtime to Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Anaheim's Ross Johnston scored his first NHL goal in nearly two years and Lukas Dostal made 24 saves.

"Tampa is at the end of a road trip, they played (Saturday) night, they don't have (Victor) Hedman, they don't have (Brayden) Point, so it's an opportunity for us to get a point or two," Ducks coach Greg Cronin said.

"First time in how long we had the same lineup in back-to-back games. I think when you have that, you're able to build some chemistry and some rhythm."

Goalie John Gibson missed Sunday's game for personal reasons, with the Ducks recalling Alex Stalock from AHL affiliate San Diego to back up Dostal.

Anaheim forward Trevor Zegras was considered a game-time decision, but missed his 31st straight contest since suffering a broken ankle Jan 9.

--Field Level Media